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1852 Philanthropist George Foster Peabody was born in Columbus, Georgia. Blessed with a talent for finance and business, he accumulated a fortune by age 50. Peabody also was one of the organizing forces in creation of what would become General Electric.
After retiring at age 54, Peabody spent his life and fortune in helping worthy causes. He bought a home in Warm Springs and was responsible for introducing Franklin Roosevelt to the thermal springs for treating his polio. Peabody died in Warm Springs in 1938 but is remembered for his charitable work and the Peabody Awards, which were established by the University of Georgia the year after his death.
1913 In Atlanta, Fulton County superior court judge L.S. Roan, who had been ill the previous week, announced that he now felt fine and would call the Leo Frank trial beginning at 9:00 the following morning. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1914 Governor John Slaton approved legislation proposing a constitutional amendment to create Bacon County from portions of Appling, Pierce, and Ware counties. The new county was named for four-term U.S. Senator Augustus O. Bacon. Creation of the county by constitutional amendment was necessary because the state constitution then in effect prescribed a maximum of 145 counties. However, beginning in 1906, the General Assembly began getting around this constitutional limitation by amending the constitution to allow additional counties. By 1914, five constitutional amendments had added five counties beyond the 145-county limit. On Nov. 3 1914, Georgia voters approved a sixth amendment making Bacon Georgia's 151st county.
1938 Famed chemist Charles H. Herty died in Savannah. Born in Milledgeville in 1867, he received an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University before undertaking research in Europe. Returning, he accepted a position at the University of Georgia in 1891. The next year, observing that there were no organized sports programs at the university, Herty organized and coached the first football team in 1892. He went on to become the first director of athletics and is considered the father of intercollegiate sports at the University of Georgia.
But, Herty's greatest accomplishments were yet to come. In 1932, he set up a laboratory in Savannah to research use of Georgia pine trees. He developed a revolutionary process for obtain pine resin without killing the tree. More importantly, he pioneered the technology for using pine chips to make Kraft paper – the brown paper used in making cardboard boxes – and to bleach it for use as newsprint and other types of white paper. Herty's achievements made possible southeast Georgia's multi-million dollar paper industry, for which he is known as the father of the southern paper and pulp industry. His legacy lives on in the form of the Herty Foundation's Research and Development Center.
1962 After two weeks of trying to meet with the Albany city council, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and 8 others kneeled to pray on the steps of the city hall. King and Abernathy were arrested and sent to jail for the third time.
Eighteen black youths were arrested two hours later when they attempt to pray, while a white SNCC worker was viciously beaten inside the jail. For more, see the Albany Movement from the Civil Rights Digital Library.
1989 Atlanta Brave Dale Murphy became the tenth major league player to score 6 RBIs in one inning.
1996 In the early morning hours of the ninth day of the Olympics, downtown Atlanta was shocked with the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. The blast killed one woman, caused a fatal heart attack in a man, and injured 111 bystanders. Conferring with law enforcement agencies and participation National Olympic Committees, by morning IOC officials decided to continue day 8 of Olympic competition (though Olympic flags were flown at half staff). Seven years would go by before the person responsible for the bombing, Eric Rudolph, was captured in North Carolina. Rudolph, who confessed to four bombings in Georgia and Alabama, was sentence to multiple life sentences in prison without parole.
In today's competition, U.S. gold medal winners were Gail Devers-Roberts in women's 100 meters and Kenny Harrison in men's triple jump.
Click here for a summary of medals awarded during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
1997 Over 3,000 explosives were used to implode the 25-year-old Omni Coliseum, located several blocks west of the center of downtown Atlanta. Twenty-thousand tons of structure were leveled in seconds.
The Omni had opened in October 1972 as the home of the Atlanta Hawks professional basketball team and the Atlanta Flames professional hockey team. It served as the venue for countless rock concerts (including a number by Elvis and almost every popular music greats that played in Atlanta), as well as a host of other events. The most televised event to be held in the Omni was the National Democratic Convention in 1988. That event pointed out the Omni's greatest shortcoming – its 16,400 seating capacity – and led to the decision that Atlanta needed a larger sports and entertainment venue. The result was the building of the nearby George Dome in 1992 as an indoor stadium for the Atlanta Falcons and other large events (with a seating capacity up to 75,000). The second new venue was Phillips Arena, constructed in 1999 as home court for the Atlanta Hawks, with a seating capacity of 21,000 for concert and other entertainment events.
2000 Former Georgia governor Zell Miller took the oath of office as a member of the U.S. Senate. Several days earlier, Gov. Roy Barnes officially appointed Miller following the death of U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage on July 18. Miller's appointment was effective until a non-partisan election to fill the vacancy could be held in Nov. 2000.
2011 The Atlanta Braves concluded the longest game in franchise history, against the Pittsburg Pirates. The game, which began on the evening of July 26, lasted six and one-half hours, going nineteen innings, before the Braves won 4-3 at 1:50 in the morning .
Georgia towns and cities first incorporated by acts approved on July 27:
1904 Broxton (Coffee County)
1929 Silvertown (Upson County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
Source: George Fenwick Jones and Renate Wilson (ed. and trans.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America . . . Edited by Samuel Urlsperger: 1739 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1980), Vol. 6, pp. 166-167.
1764 James Habersham wrote to William Knox, Georgia's agent in London, thanking him for his efforts, then adding in a postscript one of the many tribulations the colonists faced:
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1904), p. 25.
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